It's been a weird month for LeBron James. The Cavs went 8-5, which is pretty good but also not good enough. He was the Eastern Conference's Player of the Month and the Cavs' only representative playing in the All-Star game. He has spent a couple days off in Miami working out with teammates that are no longer his teammates. He's called out the mental toughness of his current teammates.
After working out with Dwyane Wade, he posted this:
Can't replace being around great friends that reciprocate the same energy back to you in all facets of life— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 3, 2016
It's enough to make you feel real warm and fuzzy about the state of the Cavs and their leader. He also went public complaining about the Cavs' lack of an enforcer, which feels like a shot at both his teammates and the front office. I guess the team misses Kendrick Perkins, but that's also insane.
"As far as an enforcer, we don't possess that this year," James said. "Losing Perk was a big piece of our success last year, even with his limited minutes. But what he meant to our team both in the locker room and when he got his opportunity was huge."
Kyrie Irving backed him up, so it's nice to see them on the same page after Haynes had also reported that he isn't happy with Irving's playmaking skills.
In the meantime, this team just hasn't put together the stretch of dominant play this season that they did last year, nor have they showed the toughness and excellent defense that allowed them to reach the Finals and take two games from the Warriors. In a perfect world, the Cavs would have blended that toughness with the scoring help of Irving and Love. That has not happened. There's still some time, and James just sort of does this on occasion. The team traded Jared Cunningham and Anderson Varejao, two LeBron favorites. It makes sense if he's a bit bummed about that.
But the team does not miss Kendrick Perkins.